Teammates pick up Zeller as Indiana routs Penn State

Cliff Brunt, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Cody Zeller didn't make a field goal.
The Indiana Hoosiers didn't need him to.
Victor Oladipo scored 19 points to help No. 7 Indiana defeat Penn State 72-49 on Wednesday night.
Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell scored 15 points, Will Sheehey scored 12 and Christian Watford added 10 points and nine rebounds for the Hoosiers (17-2, 5-1), who won their second straight after a loss to Wisconsin last week.
The Hoosiers rolled despite getting a season-low two points from Zeller, the preseason national player of the year. The 7-footer was double-teamed the entire game, and he missed all four of his field-goal attempts. He finished with eight rebounds, three assists and three blocked shots.
"Cody did a lot of other things to impact the game," Oladipo said. "That's why he's such a great player. He's doing what it takes to win. It's big for our team. Hopefully, he keeps doing it."
Indiana coach Tom Crean said Zeller will score when he needs to.
"He facilitates for others," Crean said. "He really didn't look for many opportunities to score. I'm not concerned about that. He knows he can be as aggressive as he wants to be."
The Hoosiers defeated Penn State for the fifth straight time while improving to 33-9 in the series.
D.J. Newbill scored 18 points but had eight turnovers for Penn State. Jermaine Marshall scored 12 points for the Nittany Lions (8-11, 0-7), who lost their seventh straight game overall and their 12th consecutive Big Ten road game.
Indiana shot 59 percent from the field in the second half, making six of eight 3-pointers after the break.
Penn State coach Patrick Chambers felt helpless.
"We mixed it up," he said. "We mixed it up a lot. We played zone, we played man, we played zone, we disguised the zone, we disguised the man, did different things. And for a while, it worked. But again, talent takes over."
Ferrell hit a 3-pointer less than 10 seconds into the second half, then Jordan Hulls made a 3. Hulls then led a fast break and found Oladipo cutting to the basket for a layup and a 41-19 lead 65 seconds after intermission.
Another 3-pointer by Ferrell gave the Hoosiers a 44-23 edge, and a 3 by Sheehey made it 49-27. The Hoosiers cruised from there, leading by 25 points in the final minute.
The Hoosiers held Penn State to 33 percent shooting and 2-for-15 success on 3-pointers.
"They are really trying to hang their hat on the defensive end," Crean said. "We're getting there."
Indiana led 33-19 at halftime. Sheehey, who had been in a slump for the Hoosiers, led the way with eight points at the break. Marshall had nine first-half points for the Nittany Lions.
Indiana jumped out to a 7-0 lead and forced Penn State to call timeout just over two minutes into the game. Penn State's first basket didn't come until Marshall hit a jumper with 16:42 left in the first half.
Indiana was sluggish on offense for most of the first half but got it going late in the closing minutes with Zeller on the bench. Sheehey made two 3-pointers and a layup during a 10-5 run to close the half.
Indiana shot just 37 percent in the first half, but Penn State was even worse at 30 percent.
The Hoosiers have been inconsistent recently, especially after halftime. Oladipo is tired of hearing about it.
"Seems like everybody in the country thinks we don't have two big halves," he said. "That's their opinion. That's what they see. We're doing all we can to finish strong."
NOTES: Indiana won the previous meeting 74-51 on Jan. 7. ... Tim Frazier, Penn State's star guard, has missed the season after having surgery on his injured Achilles tendon. He's out of a walking boot and now has a heel wedge in his shoe. ... Indiana's Maurice Creek, who has had an injury-riddled career, played for the first time since the Butler game on Dec. 15. He has been out with a right foot injury. Creek didn't score in 13 minutes Wednesday.

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